The Power Of Being Personal

November 15, 2018
Volume 22, Number 41

How long has it been since you received a handwritten letter? Have you ever received one from a government official?

Those who have lived a few years remember when handwritten letters were the norm. Before long-distance phone calls were free and email and texting made near-immediate communication possible, it’s how the world kept in touch. Oh, for the good old days!

The city of Syracuse, New York may have sparked a new trend – at least among tax offices throughout the country. At the suggestion of researchers from Syracuse University, city officials wrote and signed thousands of notes by hand. The subject of their letters? “Please pay your delinquent property taxes.” It is now being reported that $1.5 million more taxes were paid than had been predicted, a rise of 57%.

The reason for these surprising responses is not hard to figure out. Most of us grew tired long ago of the standard form letters we frequently receive. “Dear Property Owner” doesn’t speak to me as appealingly as “Dear Tim”. When a letter with a hand-addressed envelope shows up in my mailbox, it’s likely to be opened first.

A message to all humanity has been sent from heaven. It wasn’t sent in the form of letters written on the sky, or an eccentric-looking prophet bellowing out his message up and down the streets. Here’s how the message has been sent: “’Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23). That’s a very personal approach!

Matthew has given us a divine commentary on the words of Hebrews 1:1,2: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son …” John called Jesus “the Word”: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Imagine (some who read this may not have to imagine) that you have a son or daughter in the military, serving in a place of danger. As you gather with your family next week to celebrate Thanksgiving, which would you rather have: a letter from that beloved child, or for that child to show up at your front door?

God’s message of love to the world is far too important to communicate by means of a form letter, or even by the most eloquent human orator. God Himself put on a robe of flesh and came down to earth to show us – in Person! – that He really does love us.

At the end of that message is this: “Please RSVP”. Have you made your response?

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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